Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting Antsy for Christmas

Mantle decorations with black added for Halloween
Oh how I love the holidays!  Starting with Halloween, the excitement builds and the planning and decorating begin.

Mantle decorations without the black (looks like I forgot the cat)
First comes Halloween.  I learned a while ago to decorate for Thanksgiving BEFORE Halloween!  Then all you have to do for Halloween is add a bunch of black and it's instant Halloween!  Right after Halloween is done, you remove the black and it's already decorated for Thanksgiving.  That way I get to enjoy those two holidays with a minimal of decorating effort (and it saves on storage too!). 

While I love the Halloween/Fall decorations, I must admit that my absolute favorite is decorating for Christmas!!!  The weekend after Thanksgiving (OK usually the DAY after), I pull down all the Thanksgiving decorations and bring out the piles of Christmas decorations. 

From that point, it feels like I live in Christmas-land!  I just love all of the festive colors.  The pretty, sparkly items, the blinking lights, and wonderful music!  I really think I was meant to live at the North Pole! 

Right now I am starting to begin my holiday planning.  A few years ago, I made a list of all of the holiday traditions and events that I could think of - so that at the beginning of each holiday season, we can go through the list and pick out the "must do's" for this year.  It's a fun way to begin our planning and it starts to build a feeling of anticipation.  

Here's a sample of some of the traditions on our Holiday To-Do list: 

  • Decorate the inside and outside of the house 
  • Baking holiday goodies
  • Seeing the Nutcracker Ballet
  • Driving around to see all the neighborhood holiday decorations
  • Making Christmas cards
  • Going to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens to see their holiday light displays
  • Family and friends gingerbread house decorating contest
  • Going to holiday bazaars
  • Reading holiday-based books
  • We pick another winter holiday to celebrate/honor - for instance: Ramadan, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Yule (we are Christian, but think celebrating other winter holidays are a wonderful way to learn about and honor another culture).
  •  Watch holiday-themed TV shows and movies
  • High Tea (something the adult-aged ladies in my family have done every year for 12+ years and usually requires the ladies to wear fancy/fun hats)
  • Kid's Tea (we started a few years ago because the kids wanted to join in the High Tea fun... it's like High Tea, but a LOT less formal)
  • Annual holiday family picture
  • Snowshoeing (or playing in the snow) in the mountains  
These are just a few of our favorite holiday traditions.  Feel free to borrow some or all!!  
Mantle decorated for Christmas in '08
May you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!

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